The prospect of wading through record snowfalls in Philadelphia did not deter the Museum Store in its pursuit of unique offerings for our Museum visitors.
The Philadelphia Buyers Market of American Craft is a show for artists and craftspeople actively involved in designing and producing crafts and artistic pieces. Gallery owners and art institutions flock to this yearly show in search of the best handmade and one-of-a-kind pieces available in a broad range of artistic styles and mediums. There was an Asheville, N.C., artist who crafts boxes out of a marriage of glass, wood, copper, and steel, and a woodcarver whose hand-painted bird sculptures call to mind images of the Audubon folios.
Over 800 juried artists were in attendance at the show, including Jim Whalen of Horseshoe, N.C., a 2011 NICHE Award winner for wheel-thrown ceramics. The NICHE Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in North American fine craft, and the Museum Store is proud to have several pieces for sale from a number of Niche Award winners, including Jim.
Despite the long hours walking the halls of a convention center (and a five-hour snow delay on the flight home!), I happily realize that the best part of my job is the privilege of meeting many of these incredibly talented artists, learning the stories behind the creation of such beautiful artistic pieces, and bringing their work to the visitors who shop in the Museum Store.
Susan Piercecchi is the director of retail operations for the Museum. She and her staff attend major gift shows as well as local shows on a quest to discover the varied selection of merchandise featured in the Museum Store.